how to unicycle books are kind of stupid

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by Mike_Foote, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. Mike_Foote

    Mike_Foote Guest

    i think unicycling "how to" books are kind of stupid because of the
    simple but true aphorism "practice makes perfect." I learned how to
    unicycle without a stupid book. so uh yeah, just wanna hear your guys
    opinions.

    thanks.


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  2. I also learnt to ride a unicycle without 'a stupid book' and without a
    teacher and that sort of thing. I think if someone handed me a book
    when I was learning I'd skim through it for a few minutes (after trying
    out the uni for a few minutes first of course) and pick up the main
    pointers before attempting any real riding.

    The thing is though, a lot of people would prefer to take an academic
    approach to learning to unicycle. That's just the way they are. You
    can ignore their wishes if you like, or write a 'book' to try to help
    them. Klaas Bil and I wrote a little instruction manual. Not quite a
    book but probably around 2000 wordsish. The first page has the very
    basic tips on it for people who don't want to read the rest to read.
    The rest has more in-depth tips for learning to ride and then covers
    idling, freemounting, turning, and some other key aspects. I know quite
    a few people who have benefited from it.

    I think that yes, practise makes 'perfect', but practise plus knowledge
    of what you're meant to be doing gets you to 'perfect' quicker.

    Think about when you teach someone to ride. They will more often than
    not want tips on how to ride...those tips are in these books and
    instruction manuals.

    That's what I think anyway.

    Andrew


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  3. GILD

    GILD Guest

    Mike_Foote wrote:
    > *i think unicycling "how to" books are kind of stupid ...., *

    Mike_Foote wrote:
    > *....without a stupid book. *

    Mike_Foote wrote:
    > *so uh yeah,... *

    i guess i'm stupid then

    while learning, i read charlie dancey's book incessantly
    not while i was practising, but afterwards, at night just before going
    to bed
    i'd read it and dream about freemounting a giraffe
    one day...

    did someone just call books stupid?
    what do u want to do?
    burn them?

    books like these transfer information, skills, insights
    call them stupid at your peril

    and remember that those who refuse to learn from history is condemned to
    repeat it (i would credit the person who said it but i can't remember
    the name right now...)
    without books, that learning bocomes a great deal more difficult

    if u choose to do it without books, great
    calling them silly might just be a bit 'strong'


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  4. Huthwaite

    Huthwaite Guest

    I understand your viewpoint ‘they are kind of stupid’ but they aren’t. I
    do agree that practice is the only way of learning to ride, but pointers
    to help with the practice are immensely helpful in assisting.

    Why re-invent the wheel?

    I never bought a book – but I’ve read all I can on techniques off of the
    Internet for free, this is the same thing surely.

    Your words ‘I learned how to unicycle without a stupid book’. Are you
    saying that you never read one dot of helpful information in assisting
    you to ride? This I find hard to believe.


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  5. > Are you saying that you never read one dot of helpful information in
    > assisting you to ride? This I find hard to believe.

    Well I'm quite sure a lot of people have learned to ride without reading
    any tips at all, myself included, but that's just our bad luck. Advice
    and tips would definately have helped a lot.

    Andrew


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  6. newtouni

    newtouni Guest

    I learn well from books. I didn't but a book to learn to uni, but I
    would have if is were not for this forum.

    I learned in about 6 hours (not freemount) just because of the tips I
    got from the forum. If the forum wasn't around I would have gotten a
    book or two. It probably sped up the learning process for me by 3x.


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  7. being an anxious theorizer I wanted to get some tips
    before learning (which by the way took me 3 months!)

    these are my feelings (I'll be pleased to get comments):

    - any lesson on how to ride
    should be read the way you read a cookbook
    you should not stick to it "as is" but pick up thoughts and some
    technical tips. then it's up to you.

    - observe others... then you realize that things you read are not
    thoroughly exact: you've got to adapt to your morphology and behaviour.
    Working with a mentor is good too (but the trainer should not be too
    dogmatic).

    - the big question is: by adapting (or by sticking to the rules) are you
    picking bad habits? This forum is a precious tool for trying to
    understand techniques... but I still feel our sports is in infancy: I
    mean many techniques have evolved from experience but still need to
    undergo scientific scrutiny just to pinpoint the parameters involved.

    just my 0.02 Euros ...

    bear


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  8. GILD

    GILD Guest

    wobbling bear wrote:
    > these are my feelings (I'll be pleased to get comments):

    yes, on all of themwobbling bear wrote:by adapting (or by sticking to
    > the rules) are you picking up bad habits?

    i think an analogy with music is (relatively) fair
    u have to know the basics(rules) before u can adapt(break) them
    'succesfully'

    we may (or may not) agree that the Sex Pistols and Miles Davis shared a
    simmilar disregard for the dogmatic rules of music
    yet we may once again agree (or not) that Miles came out with, musically
    speaking, a more pleasing output
    this i chalk up to the fact that he knew the 'rules' and could therefore
    'break' them more succesfully
    (and please, i realise that the SP were making an ideological statement
    rather than play music blah, blah, blah. it's my analogy, work with me
    here ;) )

    i dont think a solid grounding in the basics of any field of endeavour
    is ever a bad thing


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    -ORIGINALLY POSTED BY A FELLOW UNICYCLIST IN A MOMENT OF SUBLIME
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    topic whether 'significant' or 'other' is the defining word in that
    phrase."
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  9. Huthwaite

    Huthwaite Guest

    Crossing threads here, but Mike you asked advice in another post and in
    this one you say that books are stupid - can you have it both ways?

    I guess you can!

    <ROFL!>


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  10. johnfoss

    johnfoss Guest

    That last post kind of got my point. You posted to this newsgroup. Why
    read it? It's not going to teach you how to ride, and you won't learn to
    ride better unless you practice.

    The book knows this.

    A good unicycle book will:
    - Tell you *how* to practice so you don't waste time doing things the
    hard way
    - Tell you *what* to practice. Stuff you may not have thought of on your
    own
    - Tell you what people do with unicycles outside your local area
    - Tell you the history of unicycling, and about famous unicyclists
    - Tell you how to find other unicyclists, in places like this

    Learning on your own, you will likely never figure out one tenth of the
    things people do with their unicycles. Only by exchanging information do
    we share the fun of this sport. Books are still good for that.

    And, of course any good book instructions will tell you you need to get
    out and practice!

    Now *juggling* books, on the other hand... :D


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  11. elmer

    elmer Guest

    In the words of a great man:"An education allows us to leap-frog over
    the mistakes of the past."

    My initial reaction to the post sort of agreed with you, Mike. I
    learned without any books or advice (except from idiot non-unicycling
    folk) from anyone. However, I am presently learning tons from reading
    this forum and columns written by the experts.


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  12. I didn't use any books or anything like that to learn, and I probably
    wouldn't buy a book because I like to be out there doing, rather than
    reading about how to do it. But I wouldn't call them stupid, they
    obviously work for some people or else they wouldn't get sold. After
    all, nobody's making you buy or read them, and nobody's making you read
    this forum.

    > - the big question is: by adapting (or by sticking to the rules) are
    > you picking bad habits?


    well I suppose we probably are, but if they work for us then they must
    be good. As you said, the sport is in its infancy: nobody really knows
    which techniques are good or bad, and surely the only way to find out is
    to try them?


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  13. vivalargo

    vivalargo Guest

    I've written about a dozen how-to books and have more than 500,000
    copies in print (all on rock climbing and adventuire sports). The whole
    point of a how-to book is to steepen someone's learning curve and
    provide a progression and focus to learning. John Foss adds a valuable
    point as well--that unless you're part of Tommy Thompson's club, or one
    like it, you've got little if any chance of knowing what others are
    doing in the sport, and a book can open eyes to the possibilities. On
    the other hand, I can appreciate people who want to discover everything
    on their own. Whatever works.

    Personally, I rode a uni as a kid, then didn't ride for 25 years, till I
    ran into KH (also a climber) at a trade show. I started in again 3
    months ago and knew virtually nothing about modern unicycling. As I've
    been learning how to idle, ride backwards, hop, jump, ride saddle out,
    go one-footed, ease into trials suff, muni, Coker, et al, the tips I've
    picked up from this site have been invaluable and have kept me from
    practicing the wrong stuff while dialing me into various learning short
    cuts. In a tangible sense, this site has been my instructional book, and
    I trust it functions in that way for many others of us trying to bring
    ourselves up to speed.

    I've always been a totaly expert in sports, and it's been a riot to
    start in on something as a total hack. But I don't want to stay there
    forever, and a few lines or videos that can set me straight on specific
    techniques is most welcome from my end.

    JL


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  14. johnfoss

    johnfoss Guest

    I think Mike Foote was talking about how-to booklets, more than full-on
    books about unicycling. Does that make is point more valid? No.

    I learned with no books or help. It took forever. I had no idea if I was
    doing it the easy way, the hard way, or the stupid way. Each exists,
    though people may argue about which is which some are well known to work
    better than others.

    So though I learned to ride the thing on my own, I eventually got my
    hands on the Schwinn Owner's Manual, which taught me some invaluable
    stuff to set me in the right direction about mounting, idling, and a few
    other basic skills.

    The book doesn't do the practicing for you, but it helps you practice in
    the way the author thinks will work best for you.


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  15. Klaas Bil

    Klaas Bil Guest

    On Fri, 16 Apr 2004 03:21:53 -0500, "andrew_carter" wrote:

    >Klaas Bil and I wrote a little instruction manual.

    That should be reversed to read Andrew Carter and Klaas Bil. Andrew
    wrote almost all of it, I did some editing only.

    >I know quite
    >a few people who have benefited from it.

    And additionally there are many who we don't know. Since it has been
    made available from my website (end of February this year), the
    document has been downloaded over 100 times (English and Dutch
    versions combined).

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  16. Klaas Bil

    Klaas Bil Guest

    On Fri, 16 Apr 2004 02:02:51 -0500, "Mike_Foote" wrote:

    >"practice makes perfect."


    Of course, but a book tells you /what/ to practice, and /how/ to
    practice. It works as your instructor, and can save you a lot of time.
    Heck, if you knew nothing about what others do, you wouldn't even know
    what to do with a unicycle at all!

    Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict
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  17. Mike_Foote

    Mike_Foote Guest

    I'm not calling anybody stupid, and I'm not saying BOOKS are stupid. I'm
    just saying that I didn't think much of the "how to" unicycle book that
    i read. i found that they werent helpfull. thats all.


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  18. wentz

    wentz Guest

  19. danger_uni

    danger_uni Guest

    Hi,

    I'm glad someone started this thread, because I'm thinking about writing
    a how-to book on mountain and trials unicycling. In other words, I
    want to write down what I've learned in this sport over the past 18
    years or so of offroad riding.

    I also would like to do a DVD but the challenge is this: although
    sometimes it's easiest to show a technique (ie film it), it's possible
    to go into way more detail about moves and techniques if it's done in
    book format.

    So if I wrote a book, would you be interested in buying it?

    Kris Holm.


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  20. bugman

    bugman Guest

    danger_uni wrote:
    > *Hi,
    >
    > I'm glad someone started this thread, because I'm thinking about
    > writing a how-to book on mountain and trials unicycling. In other
    > words, I want to write down what I've learned in this sport over the
    > past 18 years or so of offroad riding.
    >
    > I also would like to do a DVD but the challenge is this: although
    > sometimes it's easiest to show a technique (ie film it), it's possible
    > to go into way more detail about moves and techniques if it's done in
    > book format.
    >
    > So if I wrote a book, would you be interested in buying it?
    >
    > Kris Holm. *



    Of course. Now a book with a DVD included might give the best of both
    worlds. Maybe like a workshop.


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